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Barack Obama’s identity-building in the health care debate: A corpus-assisted discourse study

Riesner, Katherina LU (2016) SPVR01 20161
Master's Programme: Language and Linguistics
Abstract
In this study, I demonstrate that identity-building is an important discursive strategy for President Barack Obama in the seven-year long debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The data for the study comes from a 6-million word corpus of speeches that were held by Obama between January 2009 and January 2016, all published by the White House. The speeches are classified according to genre, audience, topic and date of delivery. Throughout the paper, I adopt the notion that identity is intentionally constructed by the speaker and strategically exploited for his communicative goals. With the help of two methodological approaches, I investigate what kind of identities Obama builds. The purely qualitative part of the study deals with... (More)
In this study, I demonstrate that identity-building is an important discursive strategy for President Barack Obama in the seven-year long debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The data for the study comes from a 6-million word corpus of speeches that were held by Obama between January 2009 and January 2016, all published by the White House. The speeches are classified according to genre, audience, topic and date of delivery. Throughout the paper, I adopt the notion that identity is intentionally constructed by the speaker and strategically exploited for his communicative goals. With the help of two methodological approaches, I investigate what kind of identities Obama builds. The purely qualitative part of the study deals with three central corpus speeches from a discourse-analytic perspective. In the second, more quantitative part, I use a group of seven verbs with epistemic meaning to trace the usage of two predominant discursive identities in the ACA debate. The results suggest that President Obama repeatedly constructs the identities of father and teacher to persuade his audience. I argue that his use of these identities constitutes an attempt to reach the argumentative goals of effectiveness and reasonableness. (Less)
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author
Riesner, Katherina LU
supervisor
organization
course
SPVR01 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Discursive identities, corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, strategic maneuvering, Affordable Care Act, epistemic verbs
language
English
additional info
The corpus that is the main foundation of this thesis is currently in the process of being uploaded to the Lund University Corpus Archive.
id
8889923
date added to LUP
2016-08-30 14:47:05
date last changed
2016-08-30 14:47:05
@misc{8889923,
  abstract     = {In this study, I demonstrate that identity-building is an important discursive strategy for President Barack Obama in the seven-year long debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The data for the study comes from a 6-million word corpus of speeches that were held by Obama between January 2009 and January 2016, all published by the White House. The speeches are classified according to genre, audience, topic and date of delivery. Throughout the paper, I adopt the notion that identity is intentionally constructed by the speaker and strategically exploited for his communicative goals. With the help of two methodological approaches, I investigate what kind of identities Obama builds. The purely qualitative part of the study deals with three central corpus speeches from a discourse-analytic perspective. In the second, more quantitative part, I use a group of seven verbs with epistemic meaning to trace the usage of two predominant discursive identities in the ACA debate. The results suggest that President Obama repeatedly constructs the identities of father and teacher to persuade his audience. I argue that his use of these identities constitutes an attempt to reach the argumentative goals of effectiveness and reasonableness.},
  author       = {Riesner, Katherina},
  keyword      = {Discursive identities,corpus linguistics,discourse analysis,strategic maneuvering,Affordable Care Act,epistemic verbs},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Barack Obama’s identity-building in the health care debate: A corpus-assisted discourse study},
  year         = {2016},
}